The iPhone 5 is barely out of its pristinely white box but already a flurry of rumours are hinting at the launch of its successor, dubbed the iPhone 5S. Believed to be heading into production next month, sources claim the handset could hit shelves as early as June 2013.
Had such rumours surfaced this time last year, we would have been the first to label them as rubbish, but the early arrival of two iPads – the iPad 4 and iPad Mini – in October shows that even when it comes to its product launch cycles, Apple can be unpredictable.
iPhone 5S Release DateThe Apple iPhone 5S could launch in June next year, with a range of different colour options for the first time, according to an industry analyst.
In a note summarised by Business Insider, Peter Misek of investment firm Jefferies & Co. claims that the next iPhone will arrive in June.
The iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 were both released closer to the end of the year, but it's not unheard of: both the iPhone 3G and the iPhone 4 came out mid-year.
Some of Misek's claims fly in the face of previous iPhone 5S details, including a purported image of the handset's casing - pictured below - taken on an assembly line which suggests that the display won't be changing from its current iPhone 5 specification.
Apple, naturally, is silent on the matter, refusing to comment until it formally unveils the handset - roll on Spring!
iPhone 5S FeaturesIn addition to a potential release date, Misek also claimed that the iPhone 5S will have a higher-resolution display than the iPhone 5, potentially based on the new IGZO (Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide) material. If true, it would provide the 5S with a brighter and more detailed screen than the iPhone 5, while also potentially dropping the thickness of the handset - albeit, only slightly.
Other claims made by Misek include increased storage capacity of 128GB - up from the maximum 64GB available in the iPhone 5 - and plans by Apple to release the handset in a variety of different colours.
It's something the company already offers for its iPod Touch devices, but the iPhone has traditionally only been offered in either black or white. The purported iPhone 5S is also claimed to include near-field communications (NFC) support, a close-range wireless system already adopted by many Android smartphones - but absent from the iPhone 5.
Apple has traditionally alternated between brand-new designs and tweaked designs for its annual iPhone releases: the original iPhone was replaced with the brand-new iPhone 3G, which was tweaked a year later into the iPhone 3GS. The launch of the brand-new iPhone 4 was followed by the tweaked iPhone 4S design, while the latest iPhone 5 model represents a complete redesign once again.
As a result, it's little surprise to find that leaked details surrounding Apple's plans for the smartphone market in 2013 revolve around a tweaked iPhone 5 design dubbed the iPhone 5S, rather than a brand-new design that would launch as the iPhone 6.